[FOM] f.o.m. documentary 2

Michael Blackmon differentiablef at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 09:50:24 EST 2012

Being young, I do not have a fully operational content filter with
respect to the things I say and write. So please understand I do not
mean any disrespect; But

When I first read this post I was offended, then saddened, and now I've
settled on a state that is somewhere between misguided rationalization
and disbelief. 

This proposal feels more like an epitaph than a celebration of the very
real resurgence in the field I have decided to call my home (roofing and
siding that is.) 

The reason for this; it seems to me that you are ignoring the very real
position mathematical logic/set-theory/and so on have in the minds of
working mathematicians. This position is one of leadership; but its not
the parental style of leadership; its the older brother style of

Where occasionally you beat up on your siblings (I think some algebraist
are still scared to death of infinity because of the early results of
Shelah.) But when it comes down to it, when they need you, you are there
to provide guidance. 

The very real resurgence I vaguely mentioned before is not one that is
internal to the fields we are interested in, its coming from outside.
New fields which have lost any pretense of focus or logical foundation
are searching for outlets to peddle their intellectual wares; and as a
result you see people who would normally not have a care in the world
for 'foundational issues' take up 'the cause.' 

It has brought in new ideas and ways of looking at things which at first
seem alien; until you realize they are just poorly stated or they are
conflating delicate issues; not out of hatred or distaste for 'our way
of doing things'; but out of ignorance. Because ultimately they have had
to do it on their own (and I hesitate to say 'until now.')

And for what its worth, I started with the intentions of being an
applied mathematician; and to a large degree this is what I consider
myself. The only difference is that now, instead of applying the tools
of analysis to study models of fluid flow or the dynamics of particles
interacting under the influence of gravity; I try and apply the tools of
logic/set-theory to the rest of mathematics in an attempt to see what is
ultimately possible. Because pushing boundaries is what our entire
endeavor is about isn't it?

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